Good facilitators share common characteristics

1. Be prepared
2. Have clear objectives and goals
3. Clarify meeting expectations
4. Allow participants to learn from one another
5. Expect participants to be engaged
6. Enforce positive and respectful interaction
7. Summarize and clarify difficult content or discussions
8. Ask open-ended questions and listen carefully
9. Be aware of pacing; keep an eye on the clock; keep it moving
10. Clarify with examples but don’t overuse stories
11. Be positive, enthusiastic, and focused
12. Trust your participants to have good ideas
13. Maintain a balance of content and process
14. Include a variety of activities
15. Offer encouragement, praise, and recognition
16. Be sure that your content has a beginning, middle, and end.
17. Gear your material for your audience—challenge them
18. Understand that people like to learn in different ways
19. Have a sense of closure or a call to action
20. Solicit “real” evaluations
21. Solicit ideas, new perspectives, and fresh points of view.
22. Encourage constructive differences of opinion
23. Keep participation balanced
24. Park or table topics that will derail the focus of the session
25. Get agreement on group actions
26.Work toward consensus whenever possible
27. Pay attention to participant reactions, moods, and attentiveness.
28. Listen, listen, listen